It's St. Patrick's Day and the sun is shining here. It's reflecting off the remnants of Stella's snow causing streams of water to run across streets and make the grass all squishy. The biggest casualty in our neighborhood was the pink cloud of cherry blossoms that now resembles old dingy satin lingerie that you might find in a vintage clothing store. It's quite sad. I'm not sure how the Tidal Basin will look over the coming days. Those trees hadn't come into full bloom yet, but the buds were there just anticipating the perfect warm day to explode open.
In 4 weeks it will be Good Friday. Families will be finishing up spring breaks and taxes. We will be celebrating the ultimate finishing of the saving work of Christ on the cross. The destruction of the cherry blossoms at the peak of their beauty seems fitting in the light of Easter. I know this, there will still be life - the leaves will come forth from the branches just as Jesus came out of the grave. It was looking pretty bleak on that Friday. It's looking pretty bleak on the limbs of those trees. BUT - I know it's not the end of the story.
How do I know those leaves will come out? There's no evidence, but I have faith. Faith that is strengthened because I think back to the fall as the leaves changed color and dropped. I think to the summer before that when the deep green was so thick it was a screen against the outside world. I think to the months before summer when color first peeked from the dark brown twigs. This is going to happen again, and I know it so my faith grows HOPE in me. No need for despair, only patience.
What's my point? I don't know exactly. It think it has to do with the PEACE that I have because my HOPE is rooted in FAITH that isn't without foundation. Friends, this peace is not confined to whether or not there will be leaves on the cherry trees. This peace encompasses every aspect of my daily life - tho it can waver under heavy storms - and the promise of life to come with Christ for all eternity. If you don't have this, I pray that you would look to the author and perfecter of our faith. If you don't feel like you have the strength to look for it or the wherewithal to grow it, ask Jesus to simply show you - to give you eyes to see and a heart to understand. Start there.
This world has plenty of trouble and could be issued warrants for "Disturbing the Peace" on an hourly basis, but that doesn't mean we have to be the victim. We can have peace, and hope, and faith - on St. Patrick's Day, Easter, or any given Friday.
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Thanks for reading. I know it's been a while.